About FYS 183


Welcome to FYS 183: Warm Regards and That’s All, on letter writing! This website will be your primary source for course information. We will also use Canvas, Muhlenberg’s learning management system. To navigate around, check out the syllabus and weekly schedule.

In this First Year Seminar (FYS), we will work on developing your writing and your writing process overall. We will do this through the lens of letter writing and epistolary practices. Much of your writing will happen in weekly blog posts, but there will also be some longer writing projects and actual letters!

First Year Seminars

First-Year Seminars are small, discussion-oriented courses that provide entering students with the opportunity to work closely with a faculty member and a writing assistant. Required of all first-year students, FYSs promote intellectual discussion and critical thinking, reading, and writing skills. Through our FYS we will emphasize thinking critically about the values and assumptions underlying various approaches to knowledge.

Because they are primarily concerned with developing critical thinking, reading, and writing, First-Year Seminars are designated writing-intensive (W). Evaluation will be based on students’ writing, and progress in their writing, rather than on examinations. The seminars will teach participants how to formulate a thesis, how to collect, evaluate, and cite evidence that supports and qualifies this thesis, and a seminar will teach participants what an argument, analysis, or interpretation is and will give students practice in constructing and evaluating sound ones. Students will also learn how to revise their work, rethinking their ideas with the help of the instructor’s comments on preliminary drafts. In sum, First-Year Seminars introduce students to the life of the mind–to what it means to think deeply, to talk and write critically about ideas; seminars model and encourage students to participate in thoughtful, critical, and intellectual reflection and conversation.

*Text summarized from First Year Seminars.